'Suicide blast' kills 2 bank guards in Wardak
MAIDAN SHAHR (PAN): Two security guards were killed in front of a bank building in an apparent suicide blast in Maidan Shahr, the capital of central Maidan Wardak province, on Sunday, officials said.
The explosion took place outside the Kabul Bank branch in the city's main bazaar at around 12pm, security officials said. But Governor, Mohammad Halim Fidaee insisted it was not a suicide attack.
Fidaee told Pajhwok Afghan News the explosives were placed in a garbage bin in front of the bank. Two bank guards were killed, he said, adding there were no other casualties.
Witness Amanullah said it was a powerful explosion that shattered windowpanes in nearby shops and the bank. The interior ministry also said it was a suicide attack that killed two guards.
In a statement, the ministry said the bomber wanted to attack government officials withdrawing salaries from the bank. The assailant detonated his explosives in haste after being identified by security officials before he could enter the building.
Earlier, the governor's spokesman said only the attacker was killed in the incident. Shahidullah Shahid said civilians and security officials suffered no casualties.
The Taliban have not yet commented on the blast that came nearly four months after a suicide attack on the Kabul Bank branch in Jalalabad, eastern Nangarhar province, killed and wounded several people.
Separately, a joint Afghan-international security force detained three alleged suicide bombers, including a female, in northern Kunduz province.
The three, who had recently returned from Pakistan, were arrested during a raid on a house in the first police district of Kunduz City on the basis of an intelligence report, said police spokesman, Syed Sarwar Hussaini.
The individuals planned to carry out suicide attacks in the city, he alleged. The woman was detained on the charge of cooperating with the two would-be bombers.
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers took away the two men and left the woman in police custody at the police headquarters, according to Hussaini
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